Orphan Foal update in Calico


Update on Orphaned Foal

January 8th, 2010 | Author: Suzanne Roy

Sad news on the poor little foal whose mother was shot by the BLM in the first days of the Calico roundup. The agency says it “euthanized her by rifle” because she was in poor body condition, yet horse rescue groups were standing by and would easily have taken this older mare and her foal, thus sparing the little colt the agony of losing his mother.

After being trucked to the Fallon holding site, this baby was placed with two mare/foal pairs. The photos taken by Willis Lamm show this baby bonding with one of the mares, standing near her for the comfort and security his mom would have provided. Disturbingly, on January 7, the BLM reported that it had separated this foal from the mare/foal pairs. This little horse is now housed by himself in an adjacent pen; with no one to provide him comfort or shelter from the cold. The BLM says this was for his own good, just as it claims that the brutal helicopter stampedes and capture of these majestic animals is for their own good. The heartless policies continue, but hopefully for this beautiful and innocent foal’s sake, the agency will let Mr. Lamm adopt him and provide him with a good life as soon as possible.

Photos and text below from www.aowha.org 1/2/10 on-site observation of the new contract horse holding facility in Fallon, NV:  Our horse observations started at the mare and foal pen. Two of the youngsters were still nursing and were in with their dams. The orphan foal appeared to have socially bonded with one of the nursing mares and her foal.

Update from Willis Lamm, January 7, 2010: John Neill promised to provide an update on the “Calico orphan.”   I received the following report this morning.

Willis, just a quick update on the orphan.  He has been gaining strength each day.  We did relocate him to an adjacent holding pen next to the pairs in order to provide him more nutrition than he would consume through oat hay.  He presently has both oat hay and alfalfa along with BLM formulated pellets for foals. Dr. Sanford and I continue to monitor the health of the animals each day.


149 Responses to “Orphan Foal update in Calico”

  1. Linda H Says:

    According to the BLM Calico update, there have been “3 horse deaths.” Any more on that?

  2. Deb Bennett Says:

    I just read the update on the BLM website-they have killed another mare. They state it was an act of mercy-I wonder how many more acts of “mercy” the BLM will inflict on these animals.

    • Linda H Says:

      I did notice the “1 back to HMA”–that would be “Freedom”

    • Roxy Says:

      I also noticed that BLM has begun adding “no respiratory problems noted”. I wonder if that would be true if they were providing a daily report of the horses in the holding pens, not just the immediatly rounded up horses?

      Yipee I cn post here again!

  3. Barbara Steele Says:

    That little foal needs SHELTER NOW and at least a compassionate human that will be his friend and mentor.

  4. Nora Morbeck Says:

    Is is an out-of-season foal? Was this a mare that was popped with PZP a few years ago? Hard to know, but it makes me curious as the foal looks pretty young and the mother was in such poor body condition.

    What are “BLM formulated pellets?” If this is a nursing foal, would these pellets be milk-based? (We had to feed a foal milk pellets when her mom had trouble nursing.) I guess I can understand why the foal was seperated, if the BLM is giving him special food to help him keep weight on. Otherwise, why seperate him?

    I hope he gets a good home with loving people and other horses who can guide him.

    • Laura Evans Says:

      If it was an out of season foal that would explain the poor body condition of the mare. Remember in the third Cloud film Shadow was born out of season and her mother was very very thin towards the end of winter. It seems to be more of the BLM doing what they want to do, “in the best interests of the animals”

  5. Tracie Lynn Says:

    After receiving emails and phone calls about this incident, I had to get a direct quote.
    I spoke with Gene Seidlitz, District Mgr, Winnemucca District Office, last night. I approached the subject of whether or not this mare did in fact have a foal at her side at the time she was euthanized. Gene’s exact words: “No, no she did not have a foal. This was a 20 year old mare who was just too bad off. The vet (Al Kane) decided that she would not make the transport trip to Fallon, and that if we released her back to the range, it would have been inhumane. It was a mercy killing.” (Hmmmm. Inhumane.)
    I asked if the reports I had received about the mare not receving a gunshot to the brain as described by the AVMA as being the humane method of euthanization when using a rifle. He did not directly answer this question either. (I received a phone call from an anonymous party on the scene of the gather site stating that when the mare was shot, the bullet did not penetrate her brain, but in fact missed, and she was left to die in this manner. I cannot reveal the name of this source as it would be a conflict of interest.)
    I am still waiting (on the edge of my chair) on comments from other officials and persons on the scene to complete the 4th Edition of You Be the Judge. Will distribute as soon as I can get all the info.

    • Anne Says:

      Hi; that is extremely interesting about the BLM saying the Mare did not have a nursing Foal; this is not true; according to the very first hand reports;

      Not only did the 20 yo Mare who had a nursing Foal:(later named Trooper and adopted by willis lamm);
      get “shot”; for no apparant cause: ; NOT ONLY DID THE MARE WHO HAVE A NURSING FOAL GET SHOT; BUT THE PEOPLE WHO WITNESSED THIS are quoted as saying

      “they discussed the ethics of shooting a Mare who had a nursing Colt; and some of them disagreed it was ok; THIS IS ALL DOWN ON RECORD; ON WEB TOO; sorry about the caps; just empahsizing
      “the BLM lie through their teeth…this is my opinion! A
      ps BLM also changed the pix of this Mare 3 times ! lol

      • Anne Says:

        this is the original report on “the mare and foal;
        note: to kill a mare with nursing foal; instead of transporting the pair to fallon is “unreasonable !

        key paragraph:
        Later discussions revealed that she also had what was described as a colt with her. Being disassociated from he protection of their band, the colt would be vulnerable to predators. (I later located the colt at Indian Lakes and it was in fact a dependent nursing foal that was too young to survive outside a protective social structure and without supplemental feed.) key line by willis lamm re 20 yo mare’s foal…(I later located the colt at Indian Lakes and it was in fact a dependent nursing foal…

        there ya’ have it; straight from the horse observer’s mouth; ias you; who would you believe ? the BLM’s Vet.? or Willis Lamm PS THE REASON THE MARE WAS LAGGING BEHIND IS:


        FOR BEING A GOOD MOTHER BLM “Shot the Mare

        total quote source: EWA Equine welfare alliance
        A discussion took place regarding an aged mare that had been euthanized. This was one of a few areas where different personnel had a different take on what actually took place.

        What was consistent in the explanations was that an aged and debilitated mare had been observed nearby that had become disassociated with her band. (This is typical situation involving elder “end stage” horses who eventually can no longer keep up with their bands and there was no evidence that this was an instance where her band had been driven away and she had been left behind.) The mare was moved to the trap site where the veterinarian determined that she was well into her twenties, had naturally declined and would not survive the winter. The mare was then shot and disposed of.

        The decision to euthanize this mare was not unreasonable. Later discussions revealed that she also had what was described as a colt with her. Being disassociated from he protection of their band, the colt would be vulnerable to predators. (I later located the colt at Indian Lakes and it was in fact a dependent nursing foal that was too young to survive outside a protective social structure and without supplemental feed.)

        The decision not to transport the pair to Indian Lakes was not extraordinary either. While it clearly is a myth that older horses (aged 10 or older) cannot adapt to a managed enclosed environment or even successfully be adopted, the relocation outcome for debilitated elder horses is seldom good and it may not only be inhumane, but illegal in Nevada to load a severely debilitated horse into a transport along with robust horses for a several hour trip.

        Since each circumstance is unique and since it is not always easy to administer IV injections to a wild horse at a trap site, I am not going to speculate over the decision to use a rifle…to euthanize this mare.

      • Anne Says:

        EWA wrote: (Willis Lamm who did adopt the Foal

        Later discussions revealed that she also had what was described as a colt with her…

        my comment: “what was described as a colt…
        oh I see; did you have to whip out your Wildlife Handbook to identify the Colt ? must be pretty difficult to I.D. a Wild Mustang Colt; eh Willie? (you sure it wasn’t a coyote pup following herd?
        ha ha ps say a prayer for the horses; and write!
        try writing to the Appropriations Committee; is where the BLM gets their taxpayers dough;Anne

      • Angela Valianos Says:

        Hi Anne-Everyone;

        When I tried telling people what I seen outside of CAVEL when there were trucks of foals, or babies as I put it, they tried to tell me since I didnt own a horse or never have been around them I didn’t know what I was talking about…… !!!! So, I took out my handbook and narrowed it down to a foal or a foal……




  6. Susan - NY Says:

    Wishing this foal a good re-homing and a healthy future.

    Can’t help but wonder, if the mare was healthy enough to run miles down the mountain in front of the helicoptor, in the middle of winter, and keep her foal with her, how she could be unhealthy enough to be judged unable to make it through the winter. How could a mare that protected the foal during that, need to be put down before the rescues that had offered to rehabilitate her could take her?



  8. Barbara Steele Says:

    When I purchased my Chincoteague foal 2 years ago the vet advised that the younger foals be fed mare and foal pellets. All of the late born younger foals were sold with a Fall pickup. In other words they were sold at the auction(July) but the buyer had to return in October to pick up the foal. The foal was returned to it’s mother to be nursed until Fall. I believe this procedure was dictated to the Fire Dept. that owns the ponies by a humane society a while back. Why can our Federal Government not be subject to humane conditions (besides they can just do what they want). That older mare probably needed her teeth floated to better grind her forage. She could have been given to a rescue along with the foal, had her teeth floated, been given supplements and provided comfort to her foal even if the foal had to be supplemented with a bottle. Is that too much to ask?

  9. Barbara Steele Says:

    Just sent a message to the Humane Society concerning this orphan foal and his late mother- -will send the same to all the other humane societies, SPCA’s, etc that profess to care about the treatment of our wild horses. They ask for money but what are they doing? I think that they could be there to stand up for the humane rights of our Wild Horses.
    The Humane Society of the United States
    2100 L St., NW
    Washington, D.C. 20037
    Attn: Member Services
    Ph: 202-452-1100

  10. Elvira Janz Says:

    It is very sad that BLM shot the mare and made her foal a little orphan. Who does BLM think they are: judge and jury? They should all be fired and new people put in. Where is President Obama in all of this? He doesn’t care for animals at all. All of you should remember what he’s allowed to happen to the horses and burros in these roundups when voting comes around.

    The baby or foal who lost his Mommie due to the shooting as the mother was running down the stinking mountain or hills is a reminder of all that is wrong with BLM. BLM should be charged for what they’ve done and are doing. Many years ago, in the 1800’s sometimes, they pushed the wild horses to the sea and all of them drowned. This shows real love for animals doesn’t it. It happened in this good old country.

    To President Obama…I really thought you would be the change for better not only for animals but people. You have not helped either. You have betrayed all that believed in you.

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      send it on to Washington, D. C. “City of Lost Dreams”

    • Anne Says:

      yeah ! and they shot the little critter’s Mum; right in front of him “Trooper; not to mention this spooked the other horses too; maybe Cattoor is History ! yay!

  11. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    This is the perfect example of what is all wrong at BLM. Just because of Burn’s rider the disrespect and abuse has gone farther and is as if there were never any protections from the 1971 Act. BLM never implemented that act fully and has never enforced it. Instead they created something mutated and very twisted as we see, for their own ends. Without BLM it could be used to begin again with little change; just add all the wild ones who had not been under it. If ROAM sits and Burn’s is best thrown out, then we could still begin with new management and the original law to respect and enforce. No need to go through the House and Senate. More direct to the horses and burros and already in place.. mar





    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      Here’s more from the blog cited above:


      apparently Craig Downer asked BLM personnel questions which they deferred to “decisions made in Washington, D.C.” (regarding HA & HMA issues, etc.)

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Louie, The Humane Society has the drug. I do not know what Pharmacy, we could find out.. The PZP is very expensive to BLM; $125. a shot? Correct me if I am wrong…

      What I have said about ROAM is my opinion and I am not trying to stop it.. tho if it gets a better version and has more support, that is fine. We still need to work with what we have and the Burn’s rider is a National Disgrace! mar

      • Karen L. Says:

        Mar, The article I linked for Louie (below) states the cost per dose at $21—of course that was about a year ago.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Well, who ever posted something about it sometime back was wrong, apparently. But I do think there are two kinds, one newer and more experimental. that could be wrong, too. In the fall there was a distinction made between what the Island ponies got and what is used on the wild horses in the West? mar

      • Karen L. Says:

        Mar, I don’t recall knowing about a newer form—that doesn’t mean it isn’t being refined as they study it. Costs could vary with the “dose” as well. The HSUS has lots of information about their work with this on the web. Google something like “equine contraception studies and HSUS”.

      • Janet Ferguson Says:

        When you get to HSUS in the equine contraceptive department, look for a press release or article, where a vet is quoted as saying (I think it was dated 2005) that introducing Equine Contraception into the Pryor Herd would make further roundups unnecessary. Then, four years later, here they come!

      • Karen L. Says:

        Yeah, the point of contraception was to stop the need for roundups and/or euthanasia. The BLM is confused about “good science”.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        I am working on the roundup schedule, my personal obsession. I am seeing the Spring as our time to get things done. If not, in June and July the roundups resume in New Mexico, Nevada and Oregon and new little foals will be running from the damned helicopters. I do not want this to happen. In June there is a roundup in New Mexico and their last wild horses will be zeroed out. Bordo is 12 miles East of San Antonio which is just South of Socorro. I will be there if it happens. But we must end this ASAP.

        The Burros will be having 4 roundups in March. Three in Arizona and one in Nevada. They have not had enough publicity and they are fewer than horses. I need volunteers to be there. I will get to the closest Arizona Burro roundup. I am trying to find where Alamo and Black Mountain Burro management areas are. Anyone want to help me pinpoint these? My signal comes and goes… Mar

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        I found everything!!

        I hope people will still see this and get into the Roundup Schedule… People are needed in March to observe Burro roundups in western Arizona and near Eureka, Nevada.

        I will be trying to make the Black Mtn. Burro roundup 15 miles west of Kingman between March 15 and 20. mar

    • Linda H Says:

      I believe the vaccine is manufactured at the Science Unit of Zoo Montana, Billings, MT. Click on zoomontana.org and scroll down to the “Science and ConservationCenter.” I found Jay Kirkpatrick’s name when I googled “manufacturer.”

      • Janet Ferguson Says:

        Who’s this guy?

        N. THOMPSON HOBBS born: 1952

        Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
        Warner College of Natural Resources phone: 970-491-5738
        Colorado State University fax: 970-491-1965
        Fort Collins CO 80523
        email: nthobbs@nrel.colostate.edu

        Singer, F. J., N. T. Hobbs . Field Trials with Immunocontraceptives to Reduce Fertility in Wild Horses on
        Lands Administered by BLM. U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Land Management. $250,636 2001-

        Hobbs, N. T. and M. W. Miller. WildSense: Instrumenting Wildlife to Gather Contact Rate Information
        Using Delay Tolerant Wireless Sensor Networks. National Science Foundation $260,8879 2009-2013

        Member, Yellowstone National Park Wildlife Health Planning Group, 2007.

        Just surfin today

      • Janet Ferguson Says:

        Who’s this guy?

        N. THOMPSON HOBBS born: 1952

        Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
        Warner College of Natural Resources phone: 970-491-5738
        Colorado State University fax: 970-491-1965
        Fort Collins CO 80523
        website: warnercnr.colostate.edu/frws/people/faculty/hobbs.htm

        Singer, F. J., N. T. Hobbs . Field Trials with Immunocontraceptives to Reduce Fertility in Wild Horses on
        Lands Administered by BLM. U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Land Management. $250,636 2001-

        Hobbs, N. T. and M. W. Miller. WildSense: Instrumenting Wildlife to Gather Contact Rate Information
        Using Delay Tolerant Wireless Sensor Networks. National Science Foundation $260,8879 2009-2013

        Member, Yellowstone National Park Wildlife Health Planning Group, 2007.

        Just surfin’ the net today. . . .

    • Karen L. Says:

      Louie, the PZP was originally developed by the University of California at Davis, and they supplied it directly to the HSUS. There is no pharmaceutical company involved as far as I know. The HSUS sponsored the original studies, and their participation is widely documented on the web—just Google it. Here is a link to the Cal-Davis development of PZP.

      • Janet Ferguson Says:

        If you are looking at ANY veterinary school you are looking at pharmaceutical companies in this day and age. They are funding research at the veterinary schools.

      • Karen L. Says:

        JF, Pharmaceutical companies have been funding research for a variety of reasons for many years. That’s not new. It does not mean they hold a patent for any given study substance or that they can unduly influence ethical researchers.

        Please note that I referenced the DEVELOPMENT of PZP. Other educational institutions are now involved in the studies, as they would be for any investigational substance. There is no way to STUDY something without some sort of dispersion procedure. As Linda H. noted above, Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, of Montana is working with PZP as well.

    • Angela Valianos Says:

      I heard through the grapevine that the HSUS was PAYING for the PZP……

      I heard this a couple of months ago before the massive roundups began.

  14. Nora Morbeck Says:

    Along with out of season births, PZP will also indirectly cause other deaths.

    Mares continue to cycle monthly, causing more contact between stallions, more injuries and certainly more injury-related deaths. Additionally, more mares and their offspring will be harmed during these skirmishes. Just the tension of this constant contact will physically effect the horses, causing issues like stress-related colic, which horses in the wild usually aren’t effected by.

    In my opinion, PZP is sort-sighted, to say the least. It’s set out there as a solution to over-population, when it’s potentially causing more injuries and deaths of healthy horses.

    • Linda H Says:

      Actually, there has been an ongoing USGS study (funded by the DOI), done on 3 herds: Pryor, McCullough Peaks, and Little Bookcliffs. The only reason I know anything about this is that Lyn McCormick set up a meeting in Ft. Collins with the USGS which happens to be here. They have been studying these herds during and following the PZP administering since 2003. Several of us who live in the area were able to meet with the researchers last week and began to learn about their research, in hopes that we can prod our Senators in CO to pursue. They were very open, receptive to questions, and they function purely as researchers, not making unsubstantiated, nor emotion-based statements. Though they are funded by the DOI, they also report to the BLM on their research. Their observation is that the BLM is under-staffed and needs some tools to do their assessments. Go to the website for more information. Their papers are also published on the website, click on “Wild Horse Resources” on the right tab.
      That’s exactly what they are monitoring–resultant behavior of PZP administered bands: band behavior, stallion behavior, mare behavior, movement between bands, Another aspect of their research is finding better methods to assess population, (instead of the current method of pulling numbers out of the air or the error-ridden, inaccurate fly overs.) This is also promising, as they are getting a less than 10% error, but usually less than 5%. If this can be applied to all the herds, there can finally be some scientific bases for real population-based herd management. They were great to talk to, they had a PowerPoint presentation for us, and answered all our questions. We felt is was a positive day–I’d be happy to talk with any of you more about it. If their research findings can be translated to overall policy, particularly where counting is concerned, that would be a great help. But does the BLM want to really know that? As it is now, it’s all done herd-by-herd.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Linda, Maybe you could prepare a simple review of the talk and tell us relevant issues they have been able to compile info on… We would love to have just a bit more than this tidbit which is very good to know about!!! This is worthy of a post here. Thanks for sharing this. Mar

      • Linda H Says:

        I would be happy to. Let me get with Lyn and we can combine our notes in case one of us missed something. The USGS guys have offered to show their presentation to Senator Udall also–they love that people are noticing them. We want to propose to our Senators in Colorado that steering more money for these studies could streamline BLM population counts, legitimize the understanding of the land use, understand more about the effects of PZP, etc. and streamline the BLM’s operation. (They might have to operate under 1 set of rules.) The more that we learn and understand about all of this underlines that old adage, “Knowledge is power” where the BLM is concerned. And the USGS is very open to suggestions. We asked them if they could use more money for their studies, and they were almost giddy. There were 5 areas of study that were identified at the beginning of this research project. 1. Health and Handling, (that’s APHIS’ department), 2. Genetics (Cothran) 3. Population (this report), 4. Fertility (this report), and 5. Habitation, which is the one wild horse area that has not been studied at this point. If they had more money, they would like to get more into the study of land use, water ecology, other wildlife impact, etc.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        This is great. May indeed lead to some good actions down the line… Thanks! mar

      • Nora Morbeck Says:

        I’m very interested in what these scientists are finding out, as PZP concerns me. So do the other issues, of course, but I guess contraceptive use messes so much with natural cycles that I really think clear studies need to be done.

        It does seem logical to me that more mares cycling would bring the stallions into more frequent conflict, Flies to honey, so to speak… But it sounds like they haven’t observed this so far. Interesting.

        Also, there’s been speculation about out-of-season births due to PZP use. There’s no telling when the drug wears off exactly, but say it’s two years from administration. That would mean mares given the shot in the fall would presumably be able to get pregnant again in two years in the fall. With 11 month gestation, that lines them up for late summer/fall births. Not really a great time for foaling. I wonder if this was a consideration during the 2009 Pryor round up and PZP administration, or if the BLM wasn’t even thinking about the timing…

        Thanks so much for posting about these studies! I’d love to hear more.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Nora, Yes, I am very concerned too, as there seem to be fillies who were too young for this and they may be barren now. That seems deliberate. But do you hear your question? Was BLM even aware of the timing? They had to be. They do have real horse experts in their program. These people must be the ones who come up with these strategies. It is terrible to play with this drug and then attempt to further destroy future generations of our wild ones. It gets very ugly to me. Mar

    • Linda H Says:

      I guess I didn’t comment on their findings on band behavior, etc. They didn’t see any big difference. There is more mating with better-condition mares, which stands to reason, as the mares with colts may not be as robust. There wasn’t any excessive movement between bands, no more physicality, or ailments. I haven’t read the research online–that’s just from my notes that day with their PowerPoint.





  17. Margaret Says:

    I think I’m going to be ill. Can you say COLD HEARTLESS AND CRUEL???? Why did the BLM put this foal in with a pair of mares/foals and then just as they were all bonding suddenly seperate him??? For his own good???? This is beyond disgusting. This poor little guy lost his mom and then was yanked yet again from another foster family.

    I’m sorry but I think we are seeing human monstrosity at its worst. How rotten to the core can they get. How much torment can they foist on these horses. I mean really. They must get some kind perverse satisfaction from tormenting animals.

    God help me if I could afford a horse I would adopt one of these and turn him out to pasture. Bring him in daily for brushing and spoiling (but no biting allowed!). On the other hand–I just think that we really need to turn them all back out. As for the poor orphan–maybe let him bond with that mare/foal again before heading out to parts unknown.

    Oh by the way–hoofray to Freedom that stallion that jumped that 6 foot fence. Not so great that he got hurt going through that barb wire fence but a big hoofray to telling the BLM off. Besides most “real” horsemen would tell you that barb wire and horses don’t mix. But that’s the cattlemen for you.

    • Christine Says:

      I would bet that the main reason, that they’re not stating, is that the mares wouldn’t let them near the foals. Thus they wouldn’t have been able to get close to the orphan to do any of their ‘help’.

      You know what I find rather angering? That they HAVE their own special formulation foals. Obviously they expect to orphan foals, so they have paid to have it made and ready.

      • Janet Ferguson Says:

        Say again?

      • Karen L. Says:

        I agree on both points—couldn’t get near the foals and the need for special foal formula.

      • theandbetween Says:

        The BLM contracts in advance of round-ups with certain “horse groups” that “partner” with the agency to provide care to orphan foals. The BLM anticipates a need to care for orphaned foals as a result of round-ups.

        Also, the Indian Lakes/Broken Arrow facility in Fallon, NV, where the wild horses are being transported from the Calico Complex round-up, is being managed from Washington, D.C., and not locally from the Nevada BLM.

  18. Barbara Steele Says:

    There is some interesting information on Wild Horse Warriors today concerning a class action suit by all the advocates. I am ready to “chip in”!
    also a great article about Harry Reid’s relative getting hanged as a horse thief!

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Cool, Barb!

      Matt has a fairly new blog with lovely fuzzy horses. He says he has seen 2 different stallions attempt to breed with their daughters. Normally this is not a problem if there is an on going normalcy within a herd. But there has been such devastation to the breeding horses that this may have been something that comes with uncharted territory. Mar

      • Janet Ferguson Says:

        Maybe they are not their daughters. . . Matt COULD be wrong about that, right?

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Janet, if Matt were even uncertain about it he would never have put that out on the blog to the public. I do question his motives for doing so because I believe the horses’ behavior has been stressed and changed greatly by mares not conceiving. It could also have been bullying he saw… but he is a professional and he knows those horses really well. I think behaviors are stressed and abnormal.

        Again I ask, as I did here before and I did to Matt; How many foals do you think will be born at Pryor this Spring?? Can there be any?? Mar

      • Laura Evans Says:

        Ginger has said that there will be foals this spring and it won’t affect anything until next spring. I’m skeptical about the Pryor blogs because he seems to approve of too much of what the BLM is doing. When I called TCF yesterday to mention that I was trying to get a protest going Ginger said that Cloud Dancer is back with Cloud and that it’s not surprising because of her relationships with Cloud’s mares. The BLM seperated her to put her with another band but not only did they seperate her from her father but also her surrogate mothers and sisters. Also, it was widely mentioned that when they gutted the herd they left it genetically unviable. As much as man tries to mess things up, nature will try to find a way to fix it. Matt may know the horses really well, but Ginger talks about them like they are her friends. She makes me feel like I know them. She said Flint has a new mare who was not rounded up so she wasn’t darted but she may be a cousin and that she had lunch with Bolder last Saturday. How cool is that?

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Yes, nature will find a way, I am hoping. If there are foals this year, they need protection. Because of what BLM did they do not need any lion kills. If only someone could stay with them. A horse shepherd. I am glad that Ginger spent time with her friends. She has helped all of us know them and care deeply what becomes of them. If mares were pregnant then, they will have foals who are unaffected by the PZP? Then they will not conceive for a couple years or more?? What about the reported over dosing of mares that was overheard by people attending the Pryor roundup? That was posted here in a comment. Oh, well..

        If there will be foals I will celebrate them and make a pilgrimage. Mar

      • Janet Ferguson Says:

        Matt’s words:

        ” I’d probably not worry so much about it if I hadn’t seen the presumed sires trying to breed their daughters.”

        I feel that Matt leaves room for the possibility the sires may be different.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Yes, true, Janet. Sires may be different. The reproductive abilities of these horses has still been tampered with and there has been younger fillies bred and stallions with bands, like Cloud’s, who have yet to have an offspring with some mature mares. It is a sad mess to me and has left the herd in a situation where there are not enough breeding mares and foals will be fewer. The untreated mares and fillies I do hope will be let be. As this war against the wild ones goes on I am more and more convinced that BLM must be kept away from the herds in the future with their aggressive actions and methods. Let them recover.. fat chance, huh? mar

      • jan eaker Says:

        Matt also says that Cloud Dancer would probably have stayed w/the new harem, but that the 2 harems are wintering in the same place, so she moved back to her family, as did the other mare who was removed. However, I’m under the impression that all the mares that were released were treated w/PZP; if that’s so, then they won’t get bred by ANY stallion.; he also states that it worries him because of the size of the herd being so much smaller. There will be babies this spring, not all the mares were rounded up, Halcyon for one, so she should have been bred for next year; the ones that were treated and released were already pregnant, so those babies will be born come spring, it will be next year that the impact of the PZP will be noticed.
        I believe that Matt cares about these horses. he goes up there regularly to see how they are doiing and reports regularly about them, when he could’nt find Beauty after the round-up, he searched for her til he found her. He made recommendations to the BLM before the roundup that weren’t followed, he tries to explain stuff so that people like me who have never been there can understand what is going on and why.
        I still believe that mountain lions would “manage” the Pryor horses quite nicely; hunting permits for lions are up, and this has a direct correlation on the horses, it’s a shame that the BLM listens to no one, not us, the law, their own experts. that this goes on and on amazes and disgusts me.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Jan, i also believe Matt and his dad love the horses. he has a wonderful job and I am sure he appreciates how rare it is. I know he did not want so many horses taken. It is not easy to be in the middle of so much. I respect that. His blog is very good and I am glad he has done as much as he has to explain this unique place to us. I have been supportive to him because he is The link we have to Pryor year round. Of course Ginger is a wonderful trained observer and i am prejudiced to a woman’s view in the field and she delivers insights that are to be respected and taken seriously. Her love is deep. It caught us all up.

        The lions may need to be checked this year if the foals will be fewer for a time, but I believe in natural predation. We all want the herd to survive all that has been done to it, bottom line. i hope there never is another roundup there. mar



    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking. . .but Louis I agree with you. . . I would suspect the same! I think it is a fair question.

    • Linda H Says:

      All the field assessment is done by 2 USGS researchers, Jason and Butch. (My husband says he wants that job–go up into the mountains and monitor and record band behavior.) DOI nor BLM has no involvement with the USGS research. In fact the USGS folks that we talked to remarked that BLM were greatly understaffed and didn’t have the manpower nor people with the expertise to do what they were doing. There are innumerable other wildlife research projects going on there at the FORT, which is the gov’t complex in Ft. Collins. THey are also working on some projects i Florida and there is another big research project near me in Estes Park with the Big Horn sheep, who are diminishing in great numbers for inexplicable reasons. With their straightforwardness and willingness to answer our questions and enlighten us, we had no reason to discredit what they said. And we also felt that we want to keep positive communication lines open. They are very willing to talk to whomever–it will only help the wild horses and their future to do research, as well.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        That is a job i would have loved to do if I were 10 or more years younger.

        These are real scientists and they have been living in a world where many have been pushing science away into a corner. This administration needs to live up to its potential. Science has been suffering in this country since Reagan. Bush delivered a death blow to science in DOI. We are becoming a very backward nation. Mar



  21. Linda H Says:

    I am the one who reported that the BLM onsite manager at Pryor boasted that they shot the mares with enough PZP to fix them forever. We were there week after the roundup. That’s why I was so interested in finding out more what PZP is. Since we live in Estes Park, they are also using it on the cow elk in Rocky Mtn. Nat’l Park to reduce the herd there. I’ve heard about it a lot but didn’t really know what it is. It is not a chemical or hormone. It’s a natural protein produced in port ovaries, and the ovaries are retrieved from packing plants. The protein occurs naturally in the equine ovum–it’s the protective coating around the egg. The injection of the additional protein into the elk or horse just gives a greater barrier around the egg, making it more less penetrable to be fertilized by sperm. It eventually works out of their system through the bloodstream, so I felt a little better about the fact that they weren’t shooting the mares with some horrible chemical or hormone that would totally screw them up. They continue to ovulate normally, thus making them inviting to the stallions, and the success rate of the PZP — 6 years monitoring in 3 herd area–is 66% reduction in pregnancy. Whew! I didn’t realized I knew so much biology.

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Linda, i could not forget that Matt had said something so callous about such a controversial thing as PZP. Thanks for coming back and explaining this, also; how it works. I see why you became interested. It is great to finally learn a good bit more. I had also been under the impression that BLM was not necessarily following a plan with how and when they gave PZP. Much was said about darting and not rounding up all the horses. There had been abcesses formed that had become infected on several mares and a couple had been badly infected. It was thought it had to do with the depth of the injection and the amount of the drug?
      I am glad they did some intervention there for Phoenix. That is what a reserve or refuge should do when they value their animals. mar

      • Laura Evans Says:

        It was actually the BLM that did took care of her. Which is why I find it interesting that there was never any mention as to wether or not it was an infection from the PZP dart.



    • Laura Evans Says:

      Speaking of PZP and Matt Dillon from the Pryor blog, I just remembered reading about Phoenix getting a nasty infection that the BLM was concerned may have come from a PZP dart. Matt did this really interesting write up about how they trapped her and her foal, who I’m thinking may have been Sax, due to the timing and removed them from the range so they could treat the infection. After all this to do about setting up the trap and how she and her band mates called to each other and about returning her and her foal to the range and not one word was said about what caused the infection.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        I think there was some mention that it was from darting. There was a younger mare also who had a bad abcess (spelling!) and it was where she had been darted. I thought they did think it was that… mar

  23. Barbara Steele Says:

    Here is a link from the New York Times concerning PZP, NPS Assateague Island ponies and BLM use of contraceptives or non-use. I have been “watching” the Assateague Island Maryland NPS ponies for quite a while(along with a group of women who “watch” the Chincoteague ponies,Virginia private herd grazing permit, on the southern end of the island. The NPS chose to use PZP to regulate herd size and not roundup or remove any ponies largely due to public outcry. This year there were 4 foals born and you could pay for the “privilege” of naming them through Ebay auctions. Great idea and publicity. Money goes to provide care if pony is injured by a human(car) and the PZP. I think the current price of PZP is in the 25.00 range per dart. This herd is about 130 ponies now and they have crunched the numbers and through death of older ponies they figure how many new foals will keep the herd stable. I don’t have any problem with that so far. The mares appear to be living longer since they do not produce a foal every year. Some are 30 years old! Also this herd has been the experimental herd for PZP and all the ponies are documented and watched carefully by scientists and college student interns. At least the NPS knows the public (who pays their salaries!) wants and loves their ponies on the island. I don’t see the current BLM wanting to actually document the individual animals and keeping track of a PZP program. They haven’t been able to document and keep track of all the horses they have removed from the range. Hopefully by the shining of the light on them we can force them to work with real scientists and do the best for the horses. We need more Craig Downers and individuals to be at each wild horse site and ask questions, take notes and videos. Shine the light!

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Yip to that, Barb, but why have we been told that the PZP the BLM purchases from HSUS is many times more expensive? Is it different? It was called PZP-22? Or 2? I think, at Pryor. I wonder if there are ‘kick backs’ and such, as with so many corrupt dealings with BLM… mar

      • Barbara Steele Says:

        The PZP on Assateague is probably the one year kind–BLM wants a super-duper dose that will work for a couple of years, maybe that’s the price difference. Think that is the problem–jury is still out on the long term dosage. We should ask the BLM by FOIA just what the cost of dosage is and how long it lasts plus side-effects and long term ramifications to herd stability.
        As for the young fillys returning to the natal band in the Pyror’s I don’t think that is unusual because of the maternal bonds of mom and aunties. Think there are studies on that and also that foals born in a band are not necessarily that of the band stallion. Seems that the mares travel around a little too! You Go girls!

      • Linda H Says:

        There have been 2 forms of PZP–one lasts one year, the other 2 years. The 1-year dose can be darted or injected, but the 2-year dose requires hand injection. (I hope I got that right, but the longer dose is obviously larger and doesn’t fit in the dart.) The longer-lasting the dose, the more costly it is to make. There is a newer long-term PZP, called SpayVac which can last 3-5 years. I don’t think they have used that yet. The PZP used in the 3 research herd areas is not mass-produced by any drug company; as I mentioned before, it’s produced by the Wildlife Arm of Zoo-Montana in Billings. No kickbacks, it comes straight from the source. The BLM hoped for 90% effectiveness, but as I mentioned before, the researchers determined a 66% effectiveness. They also determined that there is no contamination from lost darts, as it is a natural protein and breaks down easily. There research also covered effects of injection sites, granulomas, abscesses, etc. What I’d like to do is write all this up in a Word Document with Lyn’s help and post a link on my Facebook page. And again, I would encourage you to go to the FORT USGS site and you can read their research which was completed just last year. (There is a lot of “Stuff” to wade through there.) Let me know if that would be amenable for me to put everything in one place.

      • Barbara Steele Says:

        Yes, I would like to see all the information on PZP in one place!
        On another note Jay Kirkpartrick P.hD has been on the wild horse side for a long time making the point that the wild horse is native, not feral. I believe that he, like others is looking for some sort of common ground to make a break through in favor of the wild horses existence.
        One of the concerns about treating wild horses with PZP is that of natural disaster. This was covered in the Assateague study. Should a hurricane wipe out the pony herd below viability the NPS said that there are ponies of similiar bloodlines such as found on the Outer Banks that could restore the herd. This leads to the problem such as the Pyrors that private Pyror breeding horses would be used to replace the Pyror Mt. herds making it rather profitable to breed a line of horses that the government would buy? These horses would be domesticated and not truly wild but this seems to be the government’s take on what to do in a natural disaster.

    • Nora Morbeck Says:

      I thought I’d post this link (at bottom of message) as these are also island horses. The site below shows a lot of horse feet, as the Georgia woman taking these photos was studying hoof development and adaptation in these horses.

      Though I dislike the the term “feral,” it’s pointed out that these horses ancestors came to Cumberland Island as early as the 16th century. Over the years, I think some other horse genetics were mixed in. Still, I think 400 years is long enough to call them wild …

      There is NO PZP use on this island, which is run by the NPS. So, what’s the difference? The answer: Horrendous public outcry any time anyone suggests “managing” these animals.

      I have a good friend who works there, so I get updates from time to time. These horses are left alone, and sometimes it’s hard to watch them when their health starts to go downhill, or when satllions fight and fatally injure one another. But Nature is allowed to take its course.

      If these island horses are unmanaged, why can’t horses be left alone on the thousands more acres that are available out west?


      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Nora, To me, it is the ideal to be able to leave them alone. They still die with or without BC. Craig says that when left alone long enough their own natural habituation allows them to slow down reproduction in order to get the maximum benefits of the area they live within. The Pryor horses had been doing that, according to Crow Elder Harold Boggess. There was no management there when he was a young man and he saw horses there. Any horses alive will experience stresses and deaths during extreme winters or droughts and even heat waves. Fires and floods can catch them. Natural disasters can claim an unusual number at any time. That is when their own abilities come into play to make up for the losses. Many animals will do this because Man kills and ‘removes’ them. They are just trying to survive and we come along and mess it up. Mar

      • Barbara Steele Says:

        I think the difference between the Assateague Island ponies and the Cumberland Island ponies is that there is much less a human imprint on Cumberland Island than Assateague. There is a very large visitor number on Assateague and unfortunately every year there is at least one pony death because of vehicles. They also allow overnight camping on the beach on the Maryland portion of Assateague and some of the visitors get into trouble giving the horses food that leads to human injury as well as ponies eating food that is not suitable for equines. The local population at Assateague when faced with the choice of having ponies removed (Park Service did studies and said ponies were overgrazing island) they accepted the PZP. guess you could say lesser of the 2 evils.

      • Nora Morbeck Says:

        While there isn’t car traffic on Cumberland, there’s a lot of camping, site seeing, etc. On occasion, there’s a human injury related to the horses. My friend has some interesting stories… 🙂

        There are a few people who actually live on Cumberland, but not many.

        I guess I bring it up — and have brought the Cumberland Island horses up before — because here is an ecosystem that includes wild horses that are totally unmanaged by humans. This land is overseen by the NPS, under the DOI.

        So, it’s not like there isn’t some kind of successful model for nature balancing horse population. It’s right in their own back yard. Studies have already been done on these herds and could be used to understand how the horses somehow don’t crowd out other species, how they don’t over-populate or over-graze — and they’re NOT being managed.

        True, this is a different part of the country, but aside from alligators, there aren’t any predators to kill off excess horses. So, how is it that they manage themselves and how could this success help us understand what the possiblities are for horses in the west?

      • thecloudfoundation Says:

        Hi Nora; I have filmed on Cumberland but it was in 1997 I believe. Your point is an excellent one! Weather isn’t even much of an issue there. The horses have adapted to eating brackish plants and somehow can do this in spite of all the salt. I will have to say, they are not as robust as the wild ones out west for the most part but lovely looking. Wonder what their life expectancy is? I will check this out. Thanks for the thoughtful comment. Cheers, Ginger

      • Angela Valianos Says:


        815-260-1722 Angela Valianos Cell

        This is really bad. Illinios is reintroducing legislation to reopen Cavel.

        Rep. Sacia is introducing HB4812 to the House Ag committe to be able to reopen Cavel. They suspect they are bringing in some Rep from WY that fancies herself an expert on this issue.

        We need expert testimony for this meeting.

        The meeting is scheduled for 2/16

        This is where OUR WILD HORSES WILL BE GOING ! I have said this all along ! WILD HORSES = HEALTH CARE !!!


      • Barbara Steele Says:

        Beware of the NPS and what they plan for Cumberland Island horses. If you go to page 4 of this 2007 report you will see that they call the horses feral and a problem like the feral hogs on the island. I can’t find what the NPS has done since this report. When the NPS uses the term feral, watch out. Looks like they are developing the island for small educational groups and corporate retreats. This is where John Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Bisset were married.

      • Nora Morbeck Says:

        Thanks for the link. It’s hard to know what the NPS will do in the future with these horses. I will say this, however: In the past, any time the NPS has tried to interfere with the horses on Cumberland Island, the opposition shouts the the NPS down. Every single time. Not to say that this will always be the case, but the public’s wishes thus far have been honored.

        Not sure what the key to the opposition’s success is. Might be worth looking into …

      • Barbara Steele Says:

        Great to hear these horses have a group that advocates for them. This is what needs to be done with all the herds out west but I guess harder to do since the area is so large and the herds are spread out.

  24. Karen L. Says:

    Louie, Ginger’s views on PZP can be found here. She does mention observations made by TCF.

    • Barbara Steele Says:

      Thanks for posting these observations of the PZP Pyror Mt. horses. Sounds like there are lots of issues with the PZP with this herd of horses.

  25. Laura Evans Says:

    I’m still looking for a place and a time but I do have an email set up for anyone interested in protesting in the Dallas Fort Worth (preferably Fort Worth ) area. If anyone is interested or knows anyone interested please pass along my email. It’s HorseCrazies@Hotmail.com. I know, we really don’t want to be called Horse Crazies, but you know what, we are Horse Crazy and if that’s what they want to call us then let’s step up and be proud of it. I can think of alot worse things to be and Mustang wasn’t meant to be a compliment either.





    • Barbara Steele Says:

      Here is the article from Wild Horse Warriors, Jan. 8. Mz.ManyNames updates her pages often and it was listed on the side bar. She has excellent up to date information on her site. I just loved the article about Harry Reid’s horse rustling relative!
      Friday, January 8, 2010
      HOW TO WIN THE WILD HORSE (AND BURRO) WAR: A Paralegals Point of View
      From this Constitutional Law paralegals’ POV (click on title above to see my L.E.G.A.L. – Eze blog), this is the way I see things with the wild horse & burro v. BLM Wars;

      We are never going to win this war if we all dont get on the same page and focus on ONE THING at a time, and a good place to begin to STOP THE MADNESS is to challange, in a National Class-Action suit on behalf of all the advocates and orgs.,…. the zeroing out of the herds and the taking away of their lands. In that regard, there are serious violations by the DOI/BLMs administration of the WH&B Program that have NEVER been raised in any court of law that I am aware of…and I believe I have reseached these issues sufficiently enough to know they are NOT frivlious and do have merit.

      While there are a number of problems that need to be addressed regarding the overall mis-management of the WH&B Program, the main thing that we all need to be fighting for AT THIS TIME is to see to it that the herds maintain their statutory right to remain free and forever wild on their traditional rangelands, and yes, this means also in viable numbers but that is another issue altogether.

      The WFH&BA of 1971 is a federal statutory law, the highest in the land. In it, it requires the BLM to let the horses (and burros) have PRINCIPAL USE of their historic lands. This is something we all know the BLM HAS NEVER recognized, and I dont think ever will, unless WE MAKE THEM. How can we make them do that? By challanging them vigorusly through the courts on their nullification of statutory law. That is a seperation-of-powers issue of Constitutional proportion, as only the legislature is empowered to make (or nullify) the laws. When some one else, govt agent or agency, illegally delegates the law-making powers of the legislature onto themselves, the courts take it very seriously as is an impermissable delegation of authority.

      Another federal statutory law that the DOI and the BLM are ignoring is the “exemption clause” of the Federal Land Planning & Management Act. I forget off-hand what the particular section of law is, but I do know that, in effect, what it is saying is that ANY LANDS specifically designated for a certain purpose prior to FLPMA is EXEMPT from FLPMA requirements. Since the WFH&BA of 1971 was passed before the FLPMA Act (in 1974 I think)….it only stands to reason that the traditional lands where wild horses used to roam in 1971 would be exempt from FLPMA requirements, since the provisions of the WFH&B Act of 1971 ALREADY specified that the lands were to be used PRINCIPALLY by wild, free-roaming equines.It really is that simple when you break it all down….It is the law after all, as is written in black and white. There are no “gray areas” that I can see here that would cloud up these arugments.

      So, what are FLPMAs land use requirements that historic wild horse and burro lands are SUPPOSED TO BE exempt from? The answer is, astonishing as it may seem, “MANDATORY multi-use” and “balancing” requirements. These are the things that BY LAW, DO NOT apply to WH&B lands.

      Although the language of the WFHBA of 1971 suggests allowance for discretionary “other uses,” of wild horse and burro lands, any “other use” IS SUPPOSED TO BE predicated on the understanding that the equines should have PRINCIPAL USE of their historic lands. In essence, the WFHBA of 1971 granted lifetime tenure to the wild ones to remain FOREVER free on their historic lands, NO MATTER WHAT other use of their lands is planned, as long as they have principal use.

      There is another thing that FLPMA exempts historic wild horse and burro country from, and that is, suprize suprize, Management by LAND USE Management PLANS!. According to FLPMAs exemption clause, and for the same reasons as mentioned above, the historic lands of our Nations WH&B herds ARE EXEMPT from management according to any “Land Use Planning” schemes, as their PRINCIPAL USE was already spelled out in the WFHB Act of 1971. There IS, however, a requirement in FLPMA that MANDATES that any previously designated special uses of ANY lands be NOTED in any Land Use Management Plans, and that the land use plans are to be formulated in consideration of and AROUND those previously designated “other” special uses. So what does this mean? That land use plans around wild free-roaming horse and burro lands have to clearly specify the special use of the land and work around that special use,…NOT get rid of it.

      So here are TWO very important federal statutory laws that DOI/BLM is ignoring and nullifying causing the zeroing out of many herds and the taking away of their lands, and declimating the remaining herds as well.

      Some have questioned as to whether or not these are valid legal arguments to raise, reasoning that because Salazar came out a year or so ago and made a proclaimation that “from now on,”….”all land use planning will be focused on energy exploration” and/or a “biggest bang for the buck” theory, as if a proclaimation by a dept head could nullify statutory law…NOT. Not even a presidential executive order is immune from Constitutional scrutiny in a court of law, when it tends to nullify statutory law. Nullification of law by any “body,” other than our legislature, is a very serious offense.

      Get the Powers-That-Be (PTB) to enforce these two federal statutes and there will be no wild free-roaming horse or burro “management problems,” as there would be nothing much for the PTB to decide (except for appropriate AMUs). If the letter of the law were followed in these cases, the wild ones will be able to stay on their historic rangelands FOREVER FREE, no matter what other “secondary” use of the land,…as was the original intent of the 1971 Act.
      Posted by Mz.Many Names at 5:38 PM

      • Laura Evans Says:

        Wow, I kinda like the sound of that. Has anyone discussed all of this with any of the Powers That Be?

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Louie, Second page, she put up so much the other day it goes to ‘older posts’ mar

  28. Karen L. Says:

    JF, I did a bit more research into PZP. I am linking a paper by Dr. Kirkpatrick at the end of my comment, but will quote him here. His paper is about PZP for deer, horses, and wildlife in general as he replies to an article lacking in the understanding of investigational science. He says that “PZP research was funded with public money and the outcome of that research belongs to the public and should not be used to generate profit for a proprietary company.” “Native PZP cannot be patented for use in wildlife.” “No one has been able to synthesize the product. It must be laboriously produced by ‘bench chemistry’.” The cost per dose is $21 and “by law the developers/manufacturers are prohibited from profit over that cost.” He sees himself as a clean scientist involved in valuable research—his group put prohibitions on exploitation by proprietary companies in place.

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      He’s in Montana.

      • Karen L. Says:

        JF, Please read Linda H.’s comment at 6:55 P.M. above. If you will read Dr. Kirkpatrick’s letter it would be helpful. That he is in Montana has nothing to do with his legitimacy as a scientist. He is a true friend to wildlife, and was a co-author of the paper making a case for horses as native American wildlife which I have linked several times on this blog. He and his group cannot profit from or receive “kickbacks” on the production of PZP under the law—they want it this way! He explains this carefully in the link I provided.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        This is all great to know and clears up some very slanted things we all heard in September from someone who had said the HSUS was making huge profits on PZP. And I believe RT has said this and likely from the same source and I hope he reads all this as it is info we need to know. The more accurate we are the better. Thanks for all this. Mar

      • Karen L. Says:

        Thanks, Mar. Ethical researchers are great people. Linda H. has brought a lot of good, factual stuff to us on this today as well. My points have been that the scientific developers and university based clinical researchers of PZP cannot profit from and are not interested in making a profit on PZP. That is why they keep it classified as investigational.

      • Linda H Says:

        I lived in Montana for 9 years and learned about the culture and even after 9 years, we were aliens. Unless your grandfather was a born Montanan, you are an outsider. It’s like stepping back in time about 20 years and stepping into a foreign culture–the total rural culture. Most of the people in the larger cities, Billings and Great Falls still have rural roots. So I learned what to say and when to keep my mouth closed. We still have many close friends there and I love Montana and love to go back. I love the uniqueness of the people, their hardiness, their resourcefulness, and their ethic in work and play. There’s just that element of “good old boys” that cross the line and haven’t kept their moral compass in sight that we’ve seen with the BLM. I’ll start putting all the info from the USGS together to post on Facebook. This has been a good dialogue today. There’s another posting on RT’s blog by Janet that should not be missed. There is a GAO report due in March on the study based on results of closing slaughter plants. This has been bothering me for a long time. Is the BLM just stockpiling nearly 40,000 horses now, so they can come back and say, “See, I told ya. We gotta have a place to dispose of all these excess horses. That’d reduce our costs.”

      • Karen L. Says:

        Linda, The “good ole boys” mentality in all the western and southwestern ranching states can be formidable. Mar and I have expressed that we think Obama doesn’t have an inkling of the nuances involved in those particular thought processes; hence Ken Salazar. “Real” science and statutory law are on the horses’ side if we will keep putting facts first.

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Wow, who ever was posting back in Sept. about PZP was saying many misleading things. good to know all this… mar

      • jan eaker Says:

        Mar, I will try to find the article about another, more effective birth control method, it may have been the Theodore Roosevelt horses blog, but of course the govt doesn’t want to look into this,
        also, I will try to post the email I sent you about HSUS, i think it’s very interesting to see how much money a NFP has in the bank and how little they put back into the animals.

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      From Roxy:

      Longer winded than usual. Since I can’t post to each individual commenter. Lots lumped together here. Thanks Mar for posting for me. Roxy

      PZP: In one of Gingers radio spots, the interviewer, also a wild horse advocate in sunny and warm southern CA, regarding a state run wild horse preserve, had great success with PZP. But, if you read the instructions, not only does it have to be given at the correct time of year, but has to be given under the right “temperatures”. They had some problems at first because I order to give it at the right time of year it was too hot, so they had to make some judgement calls that apparently are working out. Anyone else remember that radio spot – do I have that right? Its on-line on the Cloud sight somewhere. Suffice it to say, from all appearances, BLM HAS NOT read the instructions! And this is very disappointing of HSUS as well. Gorey, I think (one of them), reported at one of the BLM advisory boards that it would be several more years before any real conclusions could be drawn from BLM’s experience with PZP, this is just not something that can be determined in a few cycles. Louie Croft – yes you got that right on – good comparison to our own human history with meds!

      But, I’m glad to hear that PZP is not a chemical, but caution, even “processing” of natural things can mess with the recipients on varying levels.

      Funding and Pharmaceutal companies – not to get into a debate off the topic of horses – but, actually almost entirely, university research is paid for by US, USA citizen taxpayers through government grants – It is a myth that the USA would lose good research under a universal health care plan , that myth being perpetrated by the drug companies, who spend a pittance toward research – they just take the University research that we have already paid for, then charge us up the Kazzoo to take their drugs. About the only real research they do, is when their patents run out, they will mess with a ratio a little, or something like that, so they can get it re-patented under a new name – Kazoo! If the patent runs out, the cost goes down as anyone can then produce the product. I learned that somewhere while trying to develop an understanding of current Insurance vs universal health care. All that funding for research has been investigated and is on-line since it was publically funded. Wish I’d kept those links, but only took a couple of days to find it. Also some really good documentaries – Salk (the polio vaccine guy, if Salk is the wrong name) intentionally did not allow his vaccine to be patented for that very reason, to keep the cost down. If HSUS is behind the PZP research, they being non-profit, could not, I don’t believe, patent the product themselves, but can as a funder of the research bar patenting. So, after long winded point, my conclusion is that HSUS, on-profit, can only recoup manufacturing costs, and if they provided any part of the grant money for the research, they can bar patenting (in other words opposite of pharmaceuticals interests), and if it is not patented, anyone can manufacture and sell it = competition = low cost = lower profits. Pharmaceuticals can provide just 1% of funding for a University research project, we pick up the other 99%, the University itself cannot obtain patents, but the funders can, unless barred. So actually any group of persons could participate in funding University research, and then they could bar patenting – aha, aha, like I said some really good documentaries out there, at least food for thought. Of course the Universitities get other perks from Pharmacueticals too in the way of donations. Anyway high cost of PZP could be attributed to small production at this time – its really still trial usage. I doubt HSUS would endanger their no-profit status for profits or kickbacks for wild horses. Wild horses are just a tiny part of what they cover. Barbara Steele have a very good post on R.T.s sight from the perspective of the “eastern” ponies. $21 – $25 dollars a dose, for 2 year contraceptive, – drop in the bucket of the roundup cost.

      Over copulation of mares, whether PZP caused or caused by too many stallions to mares ratios, is, as Nora Mobeck says a dangerous place to go. Even hidiouse – listen to Ginger Kathrens first hand eye witness account on one of her radio spots. I won’t repeat it here, may have some young readers – but go check it out. It would be a horrendous myth to say an older mare is better off on PZP than pregnant. Anyway, I buy that if natural reproduction and predation were allowed, I doubt we would have as many 20 year old pregnant mares in the first place – but this is out of my relm, just a guess.

      All very complicated – we must have some backup strategy, even if natural predations were returned, there may be sometimes that some intervention is necessary, we must determine some method of effective and safe darting, or we are back to roundups, holding prisons, or worse – slaughter. I know we all think that allowing mass dies offs from drought or forage destruction (for whatever reason – some new beatle or bacterial mutation, who knows what might occur) is natures plan, I don’t expect the public would take kindly to that. And we (being you and I) are sucking water out like its unlimited. Even solar and wind, as alternatives to pipelines, oil, gas and other demands on the public lands, take huge, HUGE amounts of water = drought for our horses. Why are we building new solar plants in the first place? We already have all the structures in the world we need for solar – called ROOFS!

      As an aside, would’nt it be wonderful, if this works out, to replace chemical birth control in women with this product? Chemical birth control has so many adverse, and for some really tragic, side effects. Or are we that much different biologically than horses or elks reproductively? Being that PZP is from bovines, if I read that correctly, we already know that part is compatible, at least on several levels. Just a thought.

      I’m concerned about the comment about elk – dwindling unexplainably? Did I misunderstand that? They are giving them PZP and then wondering why they are dwindling?

      I could not find the class action suit mentioned by Barbara Steele at the link provided – what do I need to look for once I’m on that site? Nothing mentioned about it on R.T. s site other than a rumor here and there.

      From Janet Ferguson – Matt’s words: “I’d probably not worry so much about it if I hadn’t seen the presumed sires trying to breed their daughters.” I fear these types of observations for it might not just the horses, I fear for the whole fabric of, not just our democracy, as Ginger Kathrens has mentioned, but the whole world.

      Longer winded than usual. Since I can’t post to each individual commenter. Lots lumped together here that have been building up inside me for a while now. Thanks Mar for posting for me. Roxy

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        way to go roxy! mar

      • Barbara Steele Says:

        Roxy-Idea for a Class Action Suit is at the blog Wild Horse Warriors web site and I copied it some comments back. Here is what Mz.ManyNames says

        HOW TO WIN THE WILD HORSE (AND BURRO) WAR: A Paralegals Point of View
        From this Constitutional Law paralegals’ POV (click on title above to see my L.E.G.A.L. – Eze blog), this is the way I see things with the wild horse & burro v. BLM Wars;

        We are never going to win this war if we all dont get on the same page and focus on ONE THING at a time, and a good place to begin to STOP THE MADNESS is to challange, in a National Class-Action suit on behalf of all the advocates and orgs.,…. the zeroing out of the herds and the taking away of their lands. In that regard, there are serious violations by the DOI/BLMs administration of the WH&B Program that have NEVER been raised in any court of law that I am aware of…and I believe I have reseached these issues sufficiently enough to know they are NOT frivlious and do have merit.


      • Karen L. Says:

        In the letter from Dr. Kirkpatrick I linked yesterday at 7:16 P.M., he addresses much of the content of Roxie’s post. He even addresses the application of PZP to humans that Roxie mentions—but says it won’t happen because it is not possible to predict accurately the length of time for withdrawal of the effects of the substance from a patient’s system. As far as the BLM “not reading the instructions” for administration of PZP, that’s just part of their “lack of good science” approach.

  29. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Karen, Laura and Linda, thanks much. This was great… mar



    • Barbara Steele Says:

      YEP–wasn’t there a Judge in Colorado that stopped BLM from rounding up a herd. Wonder where this case stands as I remember BLM saying, at Fall Advisory Meeting, they were appealing it and sure it would be overturned. It would be wonderful to get the Act enforced and the Burns Admendment dumped.

      • Karen L. Says:

        That was Judge Rosemary Collyer’s ruling in August that the BLM was “subverting” the purpose of the statute (the 1971 Act) by capturing and removing from the wild the animals that were to be protected IN the wild. That was the Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, Inc. v. Salazar, No. 06-1609. I thought it was still being appealed by the BLM, but Mar said the ruling was going to stand. She said to talk to Makendra because she (Mar) didn’t know the link to the source. I didn’t call Makendra.

      • Barbara Steele Says:

        According to the BLM “gather” schedule the West Douglas Colorado herd is on the list for August 2010.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        I think the latest copy of the schedule has drooped West Douglas.. They are off limits, don’t know how long. Hope the ruling will stop all roundups in Colorado. Piceance/East Douglas Is on the list for August 6 to 16 for removing 240 of 280 horses. I hope they will apply the ruling here. Mar

        This is getting very long here.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        What happened was the appeal was dropped maybe by the court. It is over and West Douglas herd is safe for now. I do want someone to post something official and tell us how long the ruling can be in place. But there may be more in the works to protect East Douglas/Piceance… am not sure. i did hear from Makendra about the ruling a few weeks ago. No details. Mar

      • jan eaker Says:

        the link on TCF to the BLM gather schedule still lists West Douglas, and it has them zeroing out the herd; please tell me this is incorrect.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Please Believe me, the case was won and the appeal by BLM was dropped. It is over. The West Douglas decision stands. No Roundup. I have asked Makendra to make an announcement. If she has not she has been busy.

        There was a reference to the win some place, it may be on my blog from just before the announcement that the Calico was postponed for 30 days.

        Call Makendra and request she make a statement so you will know… and be sure to ask how long it is for… mar



  32. jan eaker Says:

    here is the link to an interesting article concerning HSUS



    PALOMINO VALLEY PET RESCUE-palominovalleypetrescue.com

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Louie, It would be most gracious of HSUS to go and bring tarps for fences or do some kind of shelter that BLM would approve and allow to be set up. They alone have been involved with both sides. They should use some of their millions and help those horses. mar

      • Angela Valianos Says:

        If you did not read wayyyy above, I am to believe that the HSUS are the ones footing the bill for the PZP !

    • Roxy Says:

      Could we contact HSUS and volunteer to pay forsome or all of the cost of some tarps if HSUS could get permission and provide volunteers to put up the tarps?

      Angela has written that perhaps HSUS is acutaly paying for the PZP. Could be a research grant or something like that. The $25- $35 dollar a dose is not much in the whole scheme of things.

      BLM – just stop killing the mountain lions!



  35. jan eaker Says:

    update from the BLM Calico site, a mare from Black Rock was found dead in the pens today, dietary change is the suspected cause.
    none have been released back, most transported to Fallon, this mare was doing fine in the wild, but too rich feed doomed her,

  36. Nora Morbeck Says:

    As an aside and/or possible new discussion topic: what does the term “heritage species” actually do to help our country’s wild herds?

    It seems that horses and burros hold a different place in our hearts than, say, elk or deer or even buffalo. Since other species, including predator species like bear and cougar, are hunted during different seasons, it seems that if we use the terms “wild” or “feral,” that opens the door for hunting to some degree.

    For several reasons, I oppose the idea of hunting free-roaming herds of horses and burros. What does the “heritage species” classification do to protect them?

    Just curious, as I’m not really sure of the history of this term.

    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      Nora, I think that one reason why people were going after the NATIONAL TREASURE/HERITAGE SPECIES was to give them protection from hunting if they are declared native… the burros may not be native but the horses are. I would like to know some definition of these ideas and what they would mean applied to them, also.

      I guess we need to appeal to our Intrepid Researchers?? Mar

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Maybe we ought to set up that proposal here for National Treasure and work on it?? Should we do that? I think it would be a powerful tool for preservation of our wild herds… mar

      • Nora Morbeck Says:

        I don’t think horses or burros need to be declared “native.” After all, there are species all over this country that aren’t exactly native to where they live, and we still aren’t allowed to shoot them. (Example: Coyotes are not native to the Eastern US, but there are laws against shooting them.)

        I think declaring our wild herds “heritage species” or “national treasures” circumvents the whole wild/feral argument, and it also pulls them out of the livestock category. Does it matter whether they’re wild or feral? The larger reality is that they’re out there, free-roaming and in need of protection. Perhaps a legal distinction could be useful. I just don’t know if this has already been tried, what the pros and cons might be, etc.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Nora, But in getting Native Status they become accepted as a part of the ecosystems and are then managed for equally. Of course we want them to have their lands in continuum. We are heading into a fight that may have consequences unforeseen. Any protection we can get the Horses (and burros who are little more the odd man out) will help protect them and DURING this campaign, to be seeking National Treasure/Heritage Species gives them attention and respect they need, also. NOW. It is just to help them and make people aware. I think they need all the official help we can get them since other officials are trying to steal their lands and lives… Mar

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        This if from Roxy:
        Search words National Heritage and Natural Heritage turn up all kinds of posts. All seem to be state run. Search Federal National Heritage and get some interesting pro and con posts – most con about “Federal Zoning” being a Gravy Train for a few, or infringing on “property rights” as a bad thing due to those whacko tree hugger types. Pro – to provide and maintain natural corridors for wildlife in our ever expanding developments. Lots more.

        Wikepedia of course – tons of stuff there, especially interesting the part about Natural Heritage and biodiversity, but focussed on flora & fauna, rather than animals. Did’t really read in depth all the way down.

    • Barbara Steele Says:

      I found this link in regards to National Treasure-Shackleford ponies. Horse specialists like Gus Cothran, Philip Sponneberg, Jay Fitzpartrick, and Spanish Mustang Horse Registry were involved with this project. Very interesting!


    • Marilyn Wargo Says:

      I just got this from Charise;
      The key element in describing an animal as a native species is (1) where it originated; and (2) whether or not it co-evolved with its habitat. Clearly, E. caballus did both, here in North American. There might be arguments about “breeds,” but there are no scientific grounds for arguments about “species.” The non-native, feral, and exotic designations given by agencies are not merely reflections of their failure to understand modern science, but also a reflection of their desire to preserve old ways of thinking to keep alive the conflict between a species (wild horses) with no economic value anymore (by law) and th economic value of commercial livestock. Native status for wild horses would place these animals, under law, within a new category for management considerations. As a form of wildlife, embedded with wildness, ancient behavioral patterns, and the morphology and biology of a sensitive prey species, they may finally be released from the “livestock-goneloose” appellation.

      • Karen L. Says:

        Mar, Those are the elements described in the paper by Drs. Kirkpatrick and Fazio. They presented that study/paper to Congress back in 2005, hoping to enlighten and gain protected status for the horses. Ginger has it posted on this site and may know how the movement is proceeding (or not). I’ll link it again.

      • Marilyn Wargo Says:

        Yes, and i am with them on this and think that we should be supporting this heartily. Mar

      • Nora Morbeck Says:

        In claiming “native status,” does it make any difference that these horses could be considered a “re-introduced native” species? Confusing.

        My concern is that the entire discussion starts getting bogged down with terms like feral, native, wild, livestock. Yes, certainly we need precise terms to describe categories, but so many people don’t understand the distinctions. Are we all even using the same definitions? I think that livestock, for instance, gives people the impression that free-roaming herds are just domestic horses and burros turned loose — which would actually make them feral livestock. ??

        It seems to me that these animals are truly in a class all their own. They were once domestic horses and burros — though some people might argue that horses never really left the continent.

        These herds have been on their own and adapting successfully for generations. They are something different, here by chance perhaps, but evolving all on their own. I think they need a completely seperate classification and protections to match their unique status in the wild and in our country’s history. I just don’t think a lot of the currently existing labels fit very well and that we need a new one.

        Just my opinion.

      • Karen L. Says:

        Nora, I don’t know about the “re-introduced” issue. I do know that the authors, Kirkpatrick and Fazio, sought to use true cutting edge biology (DNA) to establish the connection to the ancient horse which evolved here in North America. Apparently there is now some fossil evidence that supports that thinking—that they never left. (I don’t have a link off the top of my head, but can try to find one in the next few days.) The misuse of terms, such as “livestock”, comes from people outside the science community mostly. It is to confuse the issue by design, I think. I don’t believe that wildlife biologists have any doubt that the horses are “native”. Your points are valid, and any sort of protection under the law would be welcome for the equines, even if they are given a new label. A lot of people have thought that “native species” status is the shortest route to take.

  37. Janet Ferguson Says:

    This is a “livestock breed conservancy” group. Scroll down to Horses and they are on the list among others.


  38. Linda H Says:

    I would be happy to share my notes from the meeting with the USGS Wild Horse research team on wild horse Population Study and Fertility and Immunocontraception, for any of you who are interested. It is too long to post here. Please email me and I will send the document. vlhanick@gmail.com

  39. The BLM’s Ever-Changing Landscape « My Healthy Horse Says:

    […] of him in a report he made after a January 2, 2010, visit to the Indian Lakes facility.  The Cloud Foundation blog reported this about Mr. Lamm’s photos and account of the foal named Trooper, and a later […]

  40. Angela Valianos Says:


    815-260-1722 Angela Valianos Cell

    This is really bad. Illinios is reintroducing legislation to reopen Cavel.

    Rep. Sacia is introducing HB4812 to the House Ag committe to be able to reopen Cavel. They suspect they are bringing in some Rep from WY that fancies herself an expert on this issue.

    We need expert testimony for this meeting.

    The meeting is scheduled for 2/16 Jen


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